Black airplanes are cool! From a genre standpoint, the AEW/Recon/Intel birds are at the top of my list, and the RB-57 was among the first to take a camera up high as its primary mission.
The RB-57A was a modified B-57A - a tactical bomber first delivered to the USAF in 1953. 75 aircraft were initially ordered, but only 8 of that original order were produced due to the drawdown in Korea. The remaining 67 aircraft were converted to serve as medium-altitude recon aircraft and redesignated as RB-57As. The USAF deployed RB-57As to Germany, France, and Japan. The RB-57As were replaced by the RB-66 and RF-101 by the end of 1958. The type continued to fly with the National Guard until 1971.
Our RB-57 tags were cut from the fuselage and engine covers off 2 different RB-57As: 52-1475 and 52-1465. While we don’t know how they came together, the aft fuselage off 475 (along with its engine covers) were found with 2 engine covers off aircraft 465. Odds are these panels were used as part of the restoration of 475 for static display.
A total of 1250 RB-57A tags are up for grabs; 1000 cut from the fuselage, engine covers, and interior components off 52-1475 and 250 cut from 2 engine covers off 52-1465.
Tags cut from 52-1475 are offered in 8 variants: 475 Fuselage Black, 475 Fuselage Black Rivets, 475 Faded Black, 475 Black/Red, 475 Engine Cover Thin, 475 Engine Cover Thick, 475 Blue, and 475 Starter Cartridge.
The 475 Fuselage tags were cut from the aft fuselage, behind the wings. The Fuselage Black tags are single layer tags but are thicker than the Engine Cover tags. The Fuselage Black Rivets tags feature heavy structure and rivets on the back of the tag. The Faded Black tags were cut from areas of the upper fuselage that faded after decades in the sun. The Black/Red tags were exclusively cut from engine cover panels and are some of the best looking tags we’ve ever done. The Engine Cover Thin tags are single layer tags and are super clean with glossy black paint. The Engine Cover Thick tags feature the same black paint but have additional structure and/or rivets. Some of these are super intricate. The Blue tags were cut from an area of the fuselage where the roundel was painted over (in blue paint) after the aircraft was removed from display. These are unusual but also super unique tags. Some are all blue and some are bi-color blue/black. The Starter Cartridge tags were cut from the Starter Cartridge mount that was located inside the aft fuselage and are green in color. Many of these Starter Cartridge tags have a felt backing. For a more detailed explanation of each variant, please watch the video on the JET EYES Facebook page.
Tags cut from 52-1465 were cut exclusively from engine cover panels and are offered in 465 Engine Cover Thin and 465 Engine Cover Thick.
Also available is a Canberra Set that includes a 475 Black/Red and a 465 Engine Cover Thin tag.
Both tags have laser etched art that pops against the darker paint colors and come with our new card design with art by BVR.
One neat artifact we found inside the tail section of 475 is the Camera Checklist that was screwed to an interior rib. In keeping with our recent tradition of adding artwork to the backs of our tags for the first week after release, all FUSELAGE BLACK 52-1475 tags will come with this “Camera Checklist” on the back. This checklist will not be added to tags purchased after next Friday.
That's it for our RB-57A tags! Many variants are super limited and will sell out quick. This is an excellent tag that I'm super honroed to add to our offerings.
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